I was elated when Ashley contacted me to write a guest post for her blog! I consider myself her number one fan, and was very flattered she wanted to include little old me :)
I have been a lifelong exerciser. I love to sweat and love the feeling that I get after a good sweat. However, this does not mean I always feel motivated and excited to workout. I face the same struggles that many face when confronted with working out. I always have a list of excuses that I can readily pull from to talk me out of it!
Over the years, I have developed several strategies that have helped me to combat exercise boredom and lack of motivation. I thought I would share a few with you:
1. Give yourself a window
Since having children four years ago, my window for exercise has greatly diminished. I can no longer take all the time I want and go at my leisure. Knowing I have a limited window to fit in my workout, I try and just do it and not spend too much time thinking and debating: "This will be my only chance today, better hustle and get it done." It also happens to be a nice break from the whining and constant fighting that I face at home with the kids: "I could either be sweating through a run, or I could be wiping someone’s butt and breaking up a fight. Which is preferable?" - usually the workout wins
2. Be open to all forms of exercise
Just because you can't make it to the gym, doesn't mean you can't get a sweat in. Use an exercise DVD. Clean! Vacuuming is tough. Go outside and play sports with the kids (or on your own). Have a dance party.
3. Give yourself a pep talk
Have some motivational words you can draw on to get you off your butt. Often times, it’s the getting to the gym and the first five minutes of the workout that are the hardest for me. I tell myself to "just do it for five minutes and I can always stop." Also, knowing "this is my only window to workout" and "I can do anything for 30 mins" helps. During the workout, I constantly tell myself "This pain is temporary" and "I will feel so much better the rest of the day." Whatever works!
4. Coffee, Coffee, Coffee…
I can NEVER workout before my morning cup, or 5 cups. I know this isn't true for everyone, but it gives me energy and helps get me up and going. When I first wake up (pre-caffeine) I always find ways to talk myself out of working out.
5. Mix it up
Find something you like and do it! You don't have to sit on the bike every day. Try a new class at the gym, go for a walk with your kids, find friends to do something with you, sign up for a race and train for it.
6. Eat too much
Kidding, sort of…When I have a big meal the night before, I will have extra reserves and often times more energy to get me thru a morning workout. If I don't eat enough before a workout, I often get low blood sugar and have little energy for a hard workout. (Here, I don’t just mean eat the night before, I mean before you work out, be sure to have enough fuel in you to get you through!)
7. Be sure to take rest days!
Taking days off is important to let your body heal and feel rejuvenated. It’s amazing how much better I feel at the gym the day after taking off.
Now, go out there and get ‘er done!!